3D Bioprinting: What is it and what is it for?

2 min. reading
3d printing, Healthcare of the future, New technologies / 13 June, 2022

Andrea Daly Aurenty Journalist

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Technological advances continue to drive all industries and, in this case, healthcare. One of those technologies that could make a difference for millions of people is 3D bioprinting, whose evolution opens up endless possibilities for people with health problems.

What is 3D bioprinting?

This term refers to the combination of the well-known 3D printing technology with biological materials. The possibilities it opens up are considerably wide in the field of regenerative medicine and it can be a way of extending life expectancy by addressing the main conditions that affect human beings.

3D printing revolutionizes the field of medicine and breaks new ground

3D printing revolutionizes the field of medicine and breaks new ground

After becoming considerably popular, 3D printing has driven the evolution of numerous aspects such as medicine, which is already in constant change and now, unknown paths opened by 3D printing remain to be traversed.

What is 3D bioprinting used for?

This technological advance uses biological material to create new parts, such as prostheses, blood vessels and bones.

Seeking to expand the limits of the use of 3D printing in areas such as health, the most important elements of the human body, such as organs, have also been worked on. An example of this is the realization of a bio-printed heart that has all the ramifications necessary for it to work.

However, this project is still waiting to be approved in humans, since the use of bioprinted organs in humans has generated great debate in the industry.

3D Bioprinting Sparks Ethical Debate

Like many technological advances related to the healthcare industry, the evolution of bioprinting has led to the decision point of whether or not it should be tested on humans.

Currently, there are conflicting opinions regarding this issue, since some describe this possibility as “unethical” after studying the risk-benefit ratio.

What leads some experts to qualify as unethical is the interaction that the materials used within the human body may have and the reaction that the human body may have to this organ. Among some of the interactions, conditions such as teratoma and cancer have been highlighted. In addition, the eviction and migration of the transplanted organ is included.

This debate has compelling reasons on each side and it will be up to the authorities of each country to have the last word to apply or not this technological advance within the human body.

Something that cannot be denied about 3D bioprinting is the number of paths it opens to cure diseases that, today, are one of the main causes of death in the world.

Future of 3D bioprinting

The future of this technological advance is uncertain. However, its use in other branches of the medical industry has generated significant advances in the treatment of diseases or people in need of prostheses.

That is why it is expected that they will continue to investigate other ways that 3D printing has to improve the quality of life of the human being, while the level of ethics of the next step of this technology continues to be debated: use in humans.

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